In the state of Florida, the Clay County Personal Injury Attorney law firm is renowned for its high success rates, more so, in cases involving catastrophic injuries. These types of injuries are typically serious in nature. You could find yourself requiring long-term medical attention or even living with a permanent disability. In the unfortunate case that you find yourself a victim of catastrophic injury, it is advisable that you consult with a professional personal injury lawyer. At Clay County Personal Injury Attorney – Catastrophic Injury, our well-versed lawyers can handle your case to get you the best possible outcome.
What Makes My Injury a Catastrophic One?
As per the Florida statute, a catastrophic injury is one that is intense with severe outcomes. Such injuries bring about irreversible damages or persistent symptoms which may require constant medication. The more grievous an injury is, the greater the resulting damages will tend to be. The state of Florida does not provide a definite legal definition of a catastrophic injury. However, injuries that might incapacitate you and ones that might require continuous treatment are considered catastrophic.
Catastrophic injuries differ from other injuries in the sense that they are either permanent in nature, or they need to be treated for much longer. In the state of Florida, catastrophic injuries differ from other injuries on a legal foundation as well.
The severe character of catastrophic injuries and the long-term treatment will translate to a huge medical bill. This means the alleged victim of a catastrophic injury will receive more in a settlement as compared to any other personal injury, to cover the extensive damages incurred.
What Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic in the State of Florida?
There are several injuries that the state of Florida regards as catastrophic. They include:
- Acute burns
If you suffered burns on a severe magnitude, the injuries resulting could be termed as catastrophic. Such injuries have a higher possibility of leaving you permanently deformed and could be impossible to cope with. Grave burns could also result in death, where you have the option to sue the offender for wrongful death or negligence.
During the hearing of your case, the jury is going to consider all your pain and suffering when deliberating on your settlement. This might be a good thing as most of the times it leads to a significant reimbursement.
There is no significant figure that is set by the court to be awarded to a burn victim in advance. The aspects surrounding your case will determine the amount that you will take home. Some of the aspects that could affect the results include:
1) The severity of your injuries;
2) The amount which the defendant can pay; or
3) The intentions of the responsible party.
In the event of acute burn injuries, the victim will most likely receive higher reimbursements in regards to personal injuries. This, however, is not guaranteed and you will need all the legal assistance you can get.
Elements of an Acute Burn Injury in Florida
As a victim or claimant in an acute burn injury case, the law in Florida requires you to provide proof of your said injuries. This especially applies to cases that have been established to be as a result of negligence. In order to prove that the offender instigated your serious burn injuries you need to show:
1) The alleged offender owed you a duty of care.
If for instance, you are an employee at work, your superior is supposed to provide you with a safe working environment.
2) The offender went against the said duty of care
While still at work, your boss neglected to observe safety measures as required e.g. they did not offer protective clothing and let you work in a toxic setting.
3) Their actions led directly to your burn injuries
By doing so, you probably handled poisonous material with your bare hands, and without prior knowledge of the toxins. This led to serious burns on your hands which took a lot of time and money to treat.
In the state of Florida, the manner in which you got burnt and the part of your body that suffered the burns will play a part in the overall reimbursement that you receive. In addition, the jury tends to focus on the site where the burns took place and if they were likely to happen. If the jury deems an accident could have been avoided, they might not find it practical to offer you any settlement. This is regardless of how much you spent on hospital bills. If, however, the boss is to blame for the accident, you as the victim, might get compensated in the long run.
Potential Settlement in a Florida Severe Burn Injury Lawsuit
You are eligible for compensation for acute burn injuries in Florida if you are able to prove that the accident was as a result of a second party’s negligence. A Florida court will allow your settlements for:
1) All hospital bills associated with your burn injuries. This goes for all the past, present and future costs that you might incur.
2) Your pain and misery.
3) Earnings that you lost and might lose as a result of your burn injuries.
4) Any other expenses that result from your injuries.
The state of Florida puts no limit to the penal damages to be awarded if the offender intentionally planned to harm you, the victim. If the said offender, however, had no intentions of inflicting any harm on you but had knowledge of the pending danger, the court allows for penal damages.
Paralysis refers to the limited movement of certain body parts as a result of an injury. These injuries are mostly to the spinal cord. Injuries to the spinal cord are not limited to a certain accident, but rather could result from numerous accidents. Paralysis is further classified into;
- a) partial paralysis: The victim suffers the loss or limitation of movement in one arm and one leg on the same part of their body.
- b) paraplegia: The victim suffers the loss or limitation of movement from the waist down. They basically can never walk again.
- c) Quadriplegia: Perhaps the gravest of the paralysis, the victim suffers from the loss of movement from their neck down. This type of paralysis affects the victims both arms and legs.
This injury has to be among the most life-changing accidents that one could suffer. Paralysis is a catastrophic injury that could render you unable to work for possibly the remainder of your life. In addition, taking part in any physical or sexual activity could become a daunting task as well. Such serious injuries could again result in mental anguish due to the sudden shift in lifestyle, such as spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair.
- Damaging brain injuries
Even the slightest of accidents where you might bump your head could have you suffering traumatic brain injuries. As a matter of fact, accidents resulting in brain injury are more common than you could possibly think. Such injuries in the past have brought about; change in character, paralysis, blindness and in other cases death.
Brain injuries most of the time have been described as being deceitful. This is because as opposed to external injuries, they are not as easy to spot, making them harder to diagnose and treat. Such injuries might also take quite some time before showing any symptoms.
If you suffer from a traumatic brain injury while at work, or in respect to a car accident, you might receive the settlement. This is especially true if the accident was instigated by somebody’s carelessness.
Who Can be Blamed for a Damaging Brain Injury?
In the instance that you are a casualty of a damaging brain injury, you might want to seek damages from the accident. You will need to prove before a Florida court that it was as a result of somebody else’s negligence that you suffered a catastrophic injury for the settlement to be made.
It is in this sense that someone must have disregarded a duty of care, which directly led to you suffering the damages. If you are able to show this, the jury could choose to award you settlement depending on other various factors as well.
Potential Settlement in a Florida Damaging Brain Injury Lawsuit
Just by the sound of it, a damaging brain injury sounds costly to treat. Getting yourself a skilled attorney might help you get a higher settlement amount needed to foot all your future medical bills.
The state of Florida categorizes damages as either general damages or special damages. General damages involve financial losses and other expenses incurred as a result of your accident. Some of these damages include; damaged property, lost earnings, any existing and future hospital bills, and funeral expenses if wrongful death occurred.
Special damages, on the other hand, involve impalpable things which are hard to calculate. Examples include; pain and misery, loss of friendship, emotional trauma as well as loss of living standards.
- Wrongful death
Majority of all the wrongful deaths in Florida are as a result of negligence by a second person or entity. It gets very complicated when it comes to dealing with such a situation legally since you will be grieving at the same time. In most cases, medical practitioners are the ones who are responsible.
If you file for a grievance of wrongful death, it means that you need monetary reimbursement. This financial aid is to supposedly cover for the losses you took as a result of losing a loved one. The Florida statute also recognizes this as your cry for justice since you lost a dear one prematurely.
What Differentiates Wrongful Death from Murder?
It is of importance to note that murder and wrongful death are two different offenses. Wrongful death is best described as an awful accident that resulted from someone’s neglect or sloppiness.
Murder, on the other hand, is explained as the intentional actions by a given individual to end the life a second individual. In other words, murder largely involves premeditated events. The state of Florida breaks down murder into various degrees; dependent on the level of planning put into the act.
In cases involving murder, the jury passes judgment in a criminal court and the offender sentenced to prison. When it comes to wrongful death, however, the supposed respondent is tried in a public hearing. Such cases aim at providing the rightful compensation to the grief-stricken party for their emotional and financial losses.
Who Can Lodge Claim for Wrongful Death in Florida?
In accordance with section 768.19 of the Florida statute, either the deceased individual’s personal representative or anyone listed by the departed soul’s will, have the right to present the case for a probate hearing.
The statute of limitations in Florida gives wrongful death a maximum of two (2) years. There are special events where you could postpone filing wrongful death claims. They are hard to come across and will need the intervention of your attorney.
Potential Settlement in a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death is presented in a public hearing and might involve a criminal attorney, as opposed to most catastrophic injuries. The state of Florida also permits this claim to be settled through financial means alone.
Section 768.21 of the Florida statute depicts the procedures to be followed when presenting damages in such a claim. The survivors of the deceased can recover compensations for; pain and misery, all hospital and burial expenses (only if the said survivors paid for any of them), loss of the deceased person’s friendship and guidance, and the loss of sustenance.
The statute further explains that if the deceased had any adult children, they are entitled to claim loss of parental friendship and guidance only if the deceased has no living spouse.
It is also of importance to inquire whether an offender has an insurance policy when filing a wrongful death request. If they are not insured, they will have to come up with the required money one way or another. It is best to deliberate such matters with your attorney to find the best way forward.
Who is Entitled to Wrongful Death Claims in Florida?
When it comes to pain and misery, the state of Florida only allows for five kinds of survivors to receive the rightful settlements. They include:
- a) The deceased person’s spouse,
- b) Young children,
- c) Grown children (but only if the spouse is also deceased),
- d) Both parents of a deceased young child; and
- e) Both parents of a deceased grown child (in cases where there is no other survivor).
The total amount of compensations owed to the survivors is perhaps the major contrast between the wrongful death of a child and that of an adult. As appalling as it may sound, this is what the Florida statute depicts. After losing a young child, the grieving parents will most likely to receive financial claims that are smaller. The courts in Florida will usually do this since the young child did not start working, hence, provided no financial contribution to the bereaved family. The court will typically grant settlements depending on the deceased child’s health, life expectancy and prospective earnings.
The case of a deceased adult, who was already earning and contributing to society, is totally different. An actuary is used to determine the total amount to be reimbursed to their survivors.
Also referred to as loss of vision or loss of sight, translates to you not being able to perceive visually as a result of physical or neural disorders. This condition could either be momentary or even permanent. Depending on the type and magnitude of the accident, you could lose your vision in one or both eyes. Some injuries that may result in blindness include; brain injury, severe brain trauma or even a head injury.
If such an injury was inflicted on you by the negligent acts of a second individual, it is wise to take the necessary legal measures. Such a catastrophic injury could leave you knee-deep in debt if you chose not to pursue legal action.
Losing a part of your body specifically a limb could be a distressing experience, to say the least. Your entire life basically gets to change. You will need to adapt to your new condition since life has to go on.
- Medical malpractice
We have all heard of cases where a doctor, a nurse or any other health practitioner made a mistake when treating a patient and in turn causing their untimely death or severe injury. This counts as one of several types of medical malpractice recognized by the Florida statute.
All of the above-mentioned injuries could be caused by different types of accidents. They could be as a result of slip and fall, defective products, motor vehicle or even construction accidents just to mention a few. Most, if not all the injuries mentioned on the above list will require substantial medical treatment over a lengthy period of time. Some of them could bring rise to secondary ailments including pressure sores and pneumonia. These additional illnesses will also require frequent medical attention. This will in turn significantly cut into your life expectancy.
Irrespective of the events that transpired or your current personal situation, you might still get compensation for the damages you underwent. This is provided in order to ease the monetary and emotional strain that you and your family might be undergoing.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Catastrophic Injuries
1) How long should I wait before filing an injury claim?
In accordance with the Florida statute, a maximum of four years (4) from the time of an accident is issued for general personal neglectful injuries. Wrongful deaths are given a time limit of two years (2) with insurance cases getting a five-year (5) period for you to lodge your claim. Medical malpractice, on the other hand, involves a complicated statute of limitations which takes various factors into consideration. Lodging your claims later on, after the stipulated time has passed would likely void your claims.
2) Do I still get compensated even if I am partly to blame for my accident?
The jury in a personal injury involving a catastrophic accident will take your actions into consideration in order to determine this. If your deeds or rather inactions led directly to an accident, the jury can reduce your settlement by a given percentage. This applies to most, if not all personal injury cases.
3) How much am I entitled to?
Every personal injury case will be surrounded by different factors making it unique. The damages caused and events surrounding the accident will all be different from another incident. In order to get a ballpark figure of the total sum that you might receive, it is necessary to consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney. They need to review your case first then they can provide direction on matters of settlement.
4) How much will a personal injury attorney cost me?
Most personal injury cases are paid on contingency. Typically, you will not have to pay unless you win the case and the attorney will take the agreed upon percentage.
5) Am I expected to appear in court?
For personal injury cases, the state of Florida mandates preparation for trial. Although some cases come to terms without the involvement of the court, it is quite tricky for cases involving catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injury settlements usually involve large sums of money, and the court will see that you get every last penny that you deserve.
6) Will I pay for my damages if the offender is uninsured?
When involved in a case where the individual that inflicted damage on you has no insurance cover, it is best to get your attorney involved. In the instance of motor vehicle collision per se, you cannot do much unless your insurance coverage entails uninsured motorist coverage. The state of Florida stipulates the necessity of having this coverage, which comes in handy in such a scenario.
Finding a Clay County Personal Injury Attorney Specializing in Catastrophic Injury Near Me
Not only is it financially overwhelming to deal with a catastrophic injury but emotionally devastating as well. You will require the services of an experienced personal injury attorney if you are to win a personal injury case in court and get awarded your rightful compensation. At Clay County Personal Injury, you can trust us to navigate your personal injury trial to a successful outcome by providing legal advice and representation. Get in touch with our personal injury lawyer today at 904-494-8242 and book your consultation with one of our attorneys today.